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What are the Pros and Cons of a Monofocal vs. Multifocal Lens?

Posted By Patient Letter to the Editor On September 2, 2011 @ 12:34 pm In Cataract,Patient Questions | Comments Disabled

I am 51 yrs old and have a cataract in my L eye that needs to be removed; R eye is still “baby cataract”. Highly myopic (L -9, R -10) with slight astigmatism in L (1.0). Length of eyes approx 26.3mm at exam. Since age 16 have been told that due to lattice I am at risk for detached retina, though annual exams note no change, no holes, only thinning. Have been wearing hard or gas perm contacts since age 16. Have used readers or bifocal glasses since age 39.

Since I will have to have one eye done to reduce blurriness and hopefully also reduce eye strain headaches from trying to focus through the blur, I am having both done. Can’t imagine the migraine I would get upon taking off glasses or removing contacts and having one eye at 20/20 and the other uncorrected.

Decision time – toric lens in one eye with “regular” IOL in R? Or should I go with multifocal lens in both?

Concerns – want best possible vision (don’t we all), and am concerned that I might have to sacrifice some long and mid range vision with the multifocal to get the near vision.

With the increased risk of retinal detachment, I am nervous, and want to make the right decision the first time – not interested in an “if it doesn’t work for me I can get it removed” approach.

Doc is experienced, knows my history well, has said previously she wouldn’t touch me for LASIK due to lattice and dry eyes, but now the cataract HAS to come out. Says my risk of retinal detachment is double, but that is still <1%. If I want the multifocal she said she can do the surgical adjustment for the astigmatism.

How do I know what my vision would be after surgery with Multifocal vs monofocal so that I can decide whether the degradation is too much?

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